War vets' plea: Stop our memorial being used as a water slide

Plan to install fences around Canadian War Memorial to foil skateboarders

Friday, 3rd March 2017 — By Tom Foot

Canadian War Memorial

The memorial in Green Park

A WAR memorial must be fenced off “out of respect” because children are using it as a ­summer fun water slide, say war veterans.

The Canadian War Memorial in Green Park has been “abused” by skateboarders and children, according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and a veterans’ group.

Veterans Affairs Canada says the memorial has “great social significance” but has been left with lasting damage by inconsiderate park users.

The CWGC, in a planning application to the council, said: “The memorial is intended as a respectful place for quiet reflection to remember those that served in the wars. In the summer months in particular, it is subject to people climbing up and down the two sections, sliding down the water and skateboarding down the edges. This has resulted in health and safety concerns, damage to the memorial and anger and anguish for many who understand the memorial’s significance.”

The documents add: “This needs to be addressed, for health and safety reasons, but most importantly for reasons of respect.”

More than one million Canadian and Newfoundland men and women served with the Allies during the First and Second World Wars. More than 100,000 were killed.

The proposal to Westminster planning is to introduce a metal rail – around knee height – after signs were ignored last summer and the memorial was “regularly climbed upon with visitors attracted to the flowing water and ease of access from ground level”.

The memorial – chequered with bronze Maple leaves, the official symbol of Canada – was designed by Canadian sculptor Pierre Granche and unveiled by the Queen in 1994. It is managed by Veterans Affairs Canada, which said: “We remind visitors that memorials are special places and ask them to remain respectful when visiting monuments, war memorials, and other sacred landmarks.”

The Royal Parks said it had regulations prohibiting climbing on memorials, which would be enforced by the park’s police.


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